Barca president calls for crisis talks after Messi row with sporting director

Date published: Wednesday 5th February 2020 11:43 - Steve Pearson


A meeting will take place to discuss the future of current Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal after he and Lionel Messi exchanged barbs regarding the effort and commitment of certain players.

The Blaugrana currently sit in second place in La Liga, three points adrift of bitter rivals Real Madrid.

But with four defeats and four draws to their name already in just 22 league appearances, the current campaign has not been up to their usual high standards.

Former manager Ernesto Valverde paid the price when he was axed after slumping to a 3-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid in an expanded Spanish Super Cup in January, and Frenchman Abidal recently criticised the squad for their lack of desire towards the end of the Spaniard’s reign.

“A lot of players were not happy and did not work much and there was also a problem with internal communication,” Abidal told Spanish newspaper Sport (via Sky Sports).

“The relationship between the coach and dressing room was always good, but there are things that as an ex-player I can sense. I told the club what I thought and we had to make a decision.”

Barca legend Messi took umbrage with his former team-mates comments, taking to Instagram to fire back.

“I honestly do not like to do this kind of thing but I think that everyone has to be responsible for their job and take responsibility for their decisions,” Messi said on the platform.

“Players for what happens on the field, we are also the first to acknowledge when we don’t play well.


“Those in charge of sporting direction should also face up to their responsibilities and above all take charge of their own decisions.

“Lastly, I think that when you talk about players, you should give names because otherwise you are tainting everyone’s name and feeding rumours that spread and are not true.”

Meanwhile, the end of Pierre-Emerick AUbameyang’s Arsenal career could be looming after Abidal confirmed the Gabon international os on his list of striker targets.

Arsenal were braced for a transfer move from Barca last month with The Telegraph reporting that Barcelona were on the search for a new striker with Luis Suarez currently sidelined with a knee injury that will keep him out of action until April at the earliest.

The move never materialised, but after an interview with Catalan paper Sport via Sport WitnessAbidal made it pretty clear that the Gunners frontman is still firmly on the club’s radar.

“There is a list with players like Giroud, Llorente or Aubameyang, but for one thing or another we decided not to sign. We believe it is the best for the club,” said Abidal.

Asked specifically about Aubameryang, he said: “I know him. I do not have much to do beyond sports. He has a profile that has depth.


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